Accumulation of di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate from polyvinyl chloride flooring into settled house dust and the effect on the bacterial community
Ishaq, Suzanne L.
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Di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) is a plasticizer used in consumer products and building materials, including polyvinyl chloride flooring material. DEHP adsorbs from material and leaches into soil, water, or dust and presents an exposure risk to building occupants by inhalation, ingestion, or absorption. A number of bacterial isolates are demonstrated to degrade DEHP in culture, but bacteria may be susceptible to it as well, thus this study examined the relation of DEHP to bacterial communities in dust. Polyvinyl chloride flooring was seeded with homogenized house dust and incubated for up to 14 days, and bacterial communities in dust were identified at days 1, 7, and 14 using the V3-V4 regions of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene. DEHP concentration in dust increased over time, as expected, and bacterial richness and Shannon diversity were negatively correlated with DEHP concentration. Some sequence variants of Bacillus, Corynebacterium jeddahense, Streptococcus, and Peptoniphilus were relatively more abundant at low concentrations of DEHP, while some Sphingomonas, Chryseobacterium, and a member of the Enterobacteriaceae family were relatively more abundant at higher concentrations. The built environment is known to host lower microbial diversity and biomass than natural environments, and DEHP or other chemicals indoors may contribute to this paucity.